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Cocoa Is Biggest Gainer as Lead Declines: Commodities at Close

Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities rose 0.3 percent to settle at 648.69 in New York. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials climbed 0.3 percent to 1,572.247.

SOFT COMMODITIES

Sugar and coffee futures rose on speculation that investment funds tracking commodity indexes will increase their holdings. Cocoa and cotton also advanced, while orange juice dropped.

Sugar for March delivery gained 0.1 percent to settle at 18.86 cents a pound on ICE Futures U.S. in New York, the first increase in three sessions. The price fell 16 percent last year.

Coffee futures for March delivery rose 2.1 percent to $1.504 a pound, the second straight gain.

Cocoa futures for March delivery jumped 2.1 percent to $2,267 a metric ton, the biggest increase for a most-active contract since Dec. 12.

Cotton futures for March delivery climbed 0.9 percent to 75.71 cents a pound in New York.

Orange-juice futures for March delivery slumped 2.1 percent to $1.106 a pound.

Soft commodities markets: NI SOMKTS

BASE METALS

Copper futures dropped for the third straight session on concern that demand will slump as U.S. lawmakers struggle to reach agreement on a debt ceiling and economies in Europe sputter.

Copper futures for March delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $3.678 a pound on the Comex in New York. The metal fell 1.1 percent in the previous two sessions after the Federal Reserve signaled plans to end U.S. asset purchases sometime this year.

On the London Metal Exchange, copper for delivery in three months slipped 0.2 percent to $8,071 a metric ton ($3.66 a pound). Nickel, zinc and lead also dropped, while tin and aluminum rose.

Base metals markets: NI BMMKTS

PRECIOUS METALS

Gold futures declined for the third straight session on signs that Federal Reserve policy makers may end monthly purchases of U.S. debt this year.

Gold futures for February delivery fell 0.2 percent to settle at $1,646.30 an ounce on the Comex.

Silver futures for March delivery rose 0.5 percent to $30.082 an ounce.

Precious metal markets: NI PCMKTS

NATURAL GAS

Natural gas futures fell for the fourth time in five days after revised forecasts called for milder weather in late January that would reduce fuel demand and a government report showed record production.

Gas for February delivery dropped 2.1 cents to settle at $3.266 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gas market: NI GASMARKET

GRAINS, OILSEEDS

Soybean and corn futures rose from six-month lows on speculation that U.S. reserves fell to the lowest level in nine years after the worst drought in seven decades damaged crops.

Soybean futures for March delivery climbed 1.6 percent to close at $13.885 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, the biggest gain since Dec. 21. On Jan. 4, the commodity touched $13.56, the lowest intraday price since June 20.

Corn futures for March delivery gained 0.8 percent to $6.855 a bushel. Earlier, the price touched $6.78, the lowest level since July 3.

Grain markets: NI GRMKTS

CRUDE OIL

Oil was little changed amid concern that Congress will fail to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, hurting economic confidence, and on speculation that supplies in the world’s biggest crude-consuming country will rebound.

Crude oil for February delivery rose 10 cents to $93.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement since Sept. 18. Prices are down 8.2 percent from this point last year.

Brent oil for February settlement advanced 9 cents to end the session at $111.40 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Oil markets: NI OILMARKET

OIL PRODUCTS

Gasoline futures rose as several refineries cut production of transportation fuels during maintenance.

Gasoline for February delivery rose 1.31 cents to settle at $2.7774 a gallon on the Nymex.

Heating oil for February delivery rose 1.44 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $3.0321 a gallon on the Nymex.

Gasoline at the pump, averaged nationwide, fell 0.2 cent to $3.297 a gallon, AAA said on its website today.

Oil Products: NI OILPROD LIVESTOCK

Hog futures climbed on signs of increasing U.S. meatpacker demand. Cattle prices rose.

Hog futures for February settlement rose 0.1 percent to close at 86.3 cents a pound on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Cattle futures for February delivery gained less than 0.1 percent to settle at $1.33 a pound.

Steers averaged $1.2812 a pound last week, up 0.9 percent from a week earlier, government data show.

Feeder-cattle futures for March settlement fell 0.1 percent to close at $1.561 a pound.

Livestock markets: NI LVMKTS

To contact the reporter on this story: Christine Buurma in New York at cbuurma1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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